Gaither Junior Fellows Program

Each year, through the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace—a non-partisan foreign-policy think tank with centers in Washington D.C., Moscow, Beirut, Beijing, Brussels, and New Delhi—offers approximately 12 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. James C. Gaither Junior Fellows work as research assistants to Carnegie’s senior scholars.

In order to apply, you must contact NCA by the Intent to Apply Deadline.


Application Opens: October 2021
Intent to Apply Deadline: November 1, 2021
Campus Deadline: December 1, 2021
National Deadline: January 15, 2022 

James C. Gaither Junior Fellows provide research assistance to scholars working in Carnegie programs. You may learn more about their programs by visiting Carnegie's homepage. Gaither Junior Fellows have the opportunity to conduct research for books, co-author journal articles and policy papers, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony, and organize briefings attended by scholars, journalists, and government officials.

Fellows are selected from a pool of candidates nominated by several hundred participating universities and colleges. Positions are paid, full-time positions for one year. The current salary is $1,750.00 per semi-monthly pay period ($42,000 per year). A full benefits package is also provided. James C. Gaither Junior Fellows will spend one year (beginning August 1, 2021) at Carnegie in Washington, DC working with Carnegie’s senior scholars in the following fields for the 2021-22 fellowship year:

  • Democracy, Conflict, and Governance
  • U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy—The Junior Fellow will support Carnegie Endowment President Ambassador William J. Burns on research and writing that seeks to shape American diplomacy. Applicants should have coursework in U.S. foreign policy, broad-gauged regional lens, an interest in policy analysis and formulation, and superb writing skills.
  • Nuclear Policy
  • Technology and International Affairs (including the Cyber Policy Initiative)
  • Middle East—Strong reading fluency and the ability to perform academic as well as on-line research in Arabic essential. Strong background in Middle East politics and/or history is a huge plus.
  • South Asia—A strong academic background in international relations theory, political theory, or international political economy is essential, along with an interest in military issues. The ability to perform quantitative data manipulation is required and a strong mathematical background is a plus.
  • Asia Program (China)—Mandarin Chinese reading skills required.
    Asia Program (Japan)—Japanese reading skills required.
    Asia Program (Economics)—Mandarin Chinese reading skills a huge plus. Strong background in economics essential.
    *Please note: Applicants for the Asia program with skills in two or more of the above areas (Chinese language skills, Japanese language skills, strong economics background) will be at an advantage when applying, regardless of their essay selection.*
  • Russia and Eurasia—Excellent Russian reading skills required.
  • Africa Program (NEW)—The Africa Program examines the economic, social, political, and external factors shaping Africa today, with the aim of helping regional and international policy actors strengthen their contributions to a better African future.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Graduating seniors or students who have graduated during the last academic year
  • Anyone who has started graduate studies is ineligible for consideration (except in cases where the student has completed a joint bachelor’s/master’s degree program)
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States for a full twelve months from approximately August 1 through July 31 following graduation. Students on F-1 visas who are eligible to work in the United States for the full year may apply for the program.

Selection Criteria

  • The quality of the written essay
  • Related academic study and/or work experience
  • Grades
  • Recommendations
  • Personal interviews
  • Additional selection criteria related to the specific research program may apply (such as language skills)
  • An application form
  • Essay of one page or less, double-spaced on why the student would like to become a Junior Fellow
  • Résumé or CV (preferably 1-2 pages)
  • Essay of no more than three (3) typewritten, double-spaced pages written in response to the prompt pertaining to the program to which they are applying
  • Transcript of undergraduate records (official or unofficial)
  • Letters of Recommendation (2) from anyone the student feels can best speak to their abilities as a potential Gaither Junior Fellow
  • In the fall, attend an NCA Learning Series session on the Gaither Junior Fellows Program.
  • Complete two NCA forms:
  • Confirm your intent to apply with NCA by no later than November 1, 2021.
  • Submit your application by the Campus Deadline: December 1, 2021.
  • Those selected for campus interviews will meet with the committee in December or early January. UC may endorse 2-3 candidates each year.
  • Endorsed candidates submit revised application by National Deadline in mid-January.
  • Information on this page is intended to supplement, not supplant, your own careful review of the official Gaither website. If you find any discrepancy between the two, the Gaither website takes precedence.
  • UC’s Student Code of Conduct applies to this application process.